News Buchanans Claim First Place In Pop - Garrett College
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Campus News

Octobr 17th, 2023

Buchanans claim first place in POP

Claire Oreskovich is runner-up in business plan competition


Kate Buchanan, right, and her husband, Ken, earned first prize in the Power of Possibilities competition. Claire Oreskovich, left, was the runner-up.

Kate and Ken Buchanan won the Power of Possibilities (POP) entrepreneurial competition last Thursday at Garrett College for their business plan to open 206 Alder, their Oakland-based bistro and bar.

The Buchanans earned $1,000 for first place in the event, jointly sponsored by Garrett College, the Garrett County Department of Business Development, and Mountain Maryland Tech Network. The POP project encompasses a focus on emerging industries, business collaboration, and entrepreneurship.

POP participants recently completed the Pathways to Entrepreneurship program. As part of that months-long program, each competitor worked to develop and craft a business plan, followed with a final "pitch" of their idea at the annual POP conference.

Kate Buchanan said the culminating POP competition is what got her interested in the Pathways to Entrepreneurship program.

"I saw it as an opportunity to win some money to start the business," said Buchanan, whose 206 Alder bistro opened earlier this month.

Buchanan said the idea for 206 Alder has been percolating for a while.

"I've been thinking about it for about two years – just throwing around different ideas," she said. "About a year ago, I met two other ladies and we really started talking about making it happen."

Claire Oreskovich took the second-place prize of $500 for her photography business plan pitch for All-Angles Photography.

"I've wanted to have my own freelance photography business for a few years, but I never really had the opportunity to go for it," said Oreskovich. "When I saw the course advertised online, I figured it would be a great time to get the ball rolling."

"The participants worked very hard to polish their business plans and pitch," said Dr. Kimberly Govi, Garrett College's coordinator of professional education. "The Power of Possibilities provides a platform for inspiring entrepreneurs to share their entrepreneurial dream, and to network with valuable resources that support the business community."

Prior to competitors pitching their plans, conference attendees heard from keynote speaker Pat McCormick, a business consultant for the Small Business Development Center. Byco Enterprises President Tim Bender, the 2023 Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneurial Spirit Award Winner, shared his experiences growing the Grantsville-based mechanical and excavation contracting company.

Andrew Fike, interim president of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, presented on the benefits of the Chamber, and lessons from his entrepreneurial experience.

"You don't have to be the expert in everything you want to do," said Fike. "You just have to want to do it."

Garrett College Workforce Development, Garrett County Business Development, the Small Business Development Center, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), Tri-County Council, and First United Bank & Trust attended POP to share information on their services available to the small business community.

Garrett County Commission Chair Paul Edwards was also in attendance, along with students from both Northern Garrett and Southern Garrett high schools.

The start date of the next Pathways to Entrepreneurship program is January 31, 2024. The next Power of Possibilities is scheduled for April 30, 2024.

Individuals interested in learning more about the POP program should contact Dr. Kimberly Govi (301-387-3084 or